We have to admit that things are getting very confusing when right-wing gun advocates are now worrying that criticism of their agenda is putting them at risk of becoming victims of hate crimes:
Statements made by broadcasters including CNN’s Piers Morgan and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, as well as comments on social media have contributed to an environment of hate directed against law-abiding Americans who are being demonized for a crime they did not commit, said Joseph P. Tartaro, the president of the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation.
Morgan called one national gun rights leader Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America: “an unbelievably stupid man,” he said.
Matthews suggested gun owners are, “..people on the far-right (who) never lose their passion…Normal people have other interests like their spouses, their lives, their children, and even their generalized politics isn’t driven by one issue,” he said
“This kind of rhetoric does not contribute to any rational discussion,” [Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF executive vice president] said.
“Vitriol like this only promotes hate, but apparently it’s okay to perpetuate bigotry so long as you are an anti-gunner, and a liberal. If anyone is harmed as a result of this hate campaign, we expect them to be prosecuted under the hate crimes laws,” he said.
“If this hate speech leads to hate crimes,” Gottlieb concluded, “people like Piers Morgan and Chris Matthews will be partly responsible.”
Of course, actual hate crimes legislation only applies to crimes commited on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability; gun ownership does not qualify.